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135 Norwegian Fjords Romantic Cruise Reviews

Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple ... Read More
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple months prior. We had gone on Celebrity once before so we knew we had a good cruise line with a great itinerary. Little did we know just how great both would be. Traveling to the Port We flew two days earlier from the States so we would arrive a day early to get a night’s rest before embarkation. We used Celebrity for booking the flights, primarily American Airlines since we collect their miles, but the major flight over, from Philadelphia to Heathrow, was British Airways which was quite good. Upon our arrival at Heathrow, Passport Control was quite simple and we collected our luggage, albeit waiting a while for it, and met our driver just outside of baggage collection. We had arranged for a car from Smith’s for Airports and he was great. Hotel Since I’ve been collecting points at Best Western, we had decided to see if our points would pay off and booked the Best Western at Chillworth Manor. We thought that, in worst case, we’d have a bed and a shower and off we would go to embarkation. Were we pleasantly surprised! The hotel is, indeed, a former Manor. Not Downton Abbey, but quite nice and interesting. The grounds were lovely to walk about and we had a wonderful stay. The staff was excellent. We had dinner in the restaurant (highly recommend) and the breakfast, in the restaurant, was probably the best “free” breakfast we had ever had. Room was nice and comfy and we were very happy we selected the Manor. Embarkation We left the hotel via a hotel-arranged taxi at 10:00 AM and arrived less than thirty minutes later. We went through check-in quite quickly and easily and had a seat in the waiting lounge for no more than 5-6 minutes before our “number” was called to board. All-in-all, a great embarkation experience all around!! Stateroom Our stateroom was a balcony, 9109, quite far forward (about 5 rooms back from the front, but we found it to be great and quiet. There was a bit of a walk to the elevators, but that’s okay with us! Our cabin steward kept the room exceptionally neat and we had not a complaint. My wife has a CPAP machine and, having arranged it ahead of time, we had a gallon of distilled water and, much to our surprise, an extension cord awaiting us in the room. The room also had a water heater and we had tea out on our deck most days. As far as standard ship balcony rooms go, this was a good one. The Ship We had been on the Equinox and knew the general layout of the Silhouette. I have to admit that, when we found out after booking that she would be in drydock soon after our trip, I was a bit concerned that we were going on an “old” ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of us on board commented to each other that we didn’t really know why it was even being refurbished! It was a beautiful ship from stem to stern. Getting around the ship was easy. There were three decks of inside “evening” areas, including dining, shops, lounges, etc. Deck 5 had an outdoor walking area but did not entirely circumvent the ship, which is disappointing but appears to be the way with these ships nowadays. I long for the “Promenade deck” of old! The pool area got some use though this was a cooler itinerary. The indoor solarium pool was more the place to be if swimming is what you looked for. Given the itinerary, we didn’t even pack bathing suits! Dining We usually opt for freestyle dining as Norwegian calls it but, having booked so late, we were forced to have 6:00PM dining. It was okay but we would prefer not to eat that early again. Our wait staff was excellent and we had two other couples, one from the UK and one from Israel, at our table and we became fast friends. Food selection was very good as was the food itself. Specialty Dining We availed ourselves to one of the 3-night specialty packages and, though we probably wouldn’t do the package again, we were not disappointed with the experience. I think we’d stay in the MDR and just take one arbitrary night to do a specialty restaurant, if at all. Our first experience was the Lawn Club Grille, an “outside” venue – though it was fairly enclosed with the plastic walls. This is the place for steaks as they cook them right there on the grille and they were fantastic! Second experience was the Tuscan Grille. Here’s a tip – if you ever do the Norwegian Fjords itinerary, and you plan on eating here at all during the cruise, do so on the day you sail away from Flam. The restaurant is the aft-most one can be with large viewing windows and sailing away down the fjord is just magnificent. This is an Italian steakhouse and, once again, the food and staff were excellent. Our last experience, our last dinner on this cruise, was at Qsine. The “Les Petits Chefs’ experience is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that must be experienced. The table top animation is just tremendous, but that doesn’t take away from the great food and excellent service they provide. If you only do one specialty restaurant, make this one your choice. Activities There are activities every day and we admittedly did not participate much. The few we did – Question of the Day, Riddle of the Day, Movie/TV music themes – were fun and well-done and we probably did ourselves a disservice not participating more but there are only so many hours in a day. Suffice it to say that if Activities are your thing, there are plenty and seem to be well done. Entertainment We went to every one of the 7 theater shows and we were very impressed with all. The production team did three shows, all of them spectacular. The aerialists and acrobats were outstanding, as were the singers and dancers. One show was a local UK singer/pianist who did a very good job, especially on the piano. Another night was a comedian who was quite good and funny. The Flyboys were on board and they are a quartet of singers who transform “modern” songs into swing era style. The Overtures, the best 60’s band in the world according to Elton John, performed one night to rousing ovations and applause and did a quick set the last night in the Foyer area. The live music throughout the ship was top-notch. Two bands, once of which played a lot of 60s – 80s rock and roll, a solo guitarist/vocalist, a string duo (violin and cello) doing modern tunes with strings, were all great. We went to one of the “game shows”, Liars Club or some such thing, which was hilarious and I’m certain other shows were equally well done. On the final day, Captain George gave a talk about the ship and navigation and had a lengthy Q&A which was all very interesting. Ports The itinerary consisted of four fabulous ports. We used Celebrity for all tour excursions. We arrived in Bergen, Norway, at noon. Our tour was a little later and was simply a panorama tour of Bergen and the surrounding hills. Our guide was excellent and the tour was good. Also at Bergen is the ability to take a funicular up the hillside for views of the city. We did not do so but others on board did and report that it was great. Our second stop was at Alesund, Norway. Two things of note: If you go do Alesund and don’t do the Path of the Trolls tour, you have not been to Norway! And, though I know lots of cruise critics eschew ship tours, I heartily recommend you do the ship tour for this one or be prepared to fly yourself out to the next port. This is a LONG tour and is subject to so many possibilities of delays. Anyhow, the tour is excellent. You get to go well into the interior of Norway with its tremendous views. The third stop is the reason for taking a cruise to Norway, this cruise into and out of Flam. This town of only 400 is nestled at the end of an arm of Norway’s longest fjord. The cruise in and out is spectacular, with waterfalls almost within reach of the ship. We took the Flam railway up to the end, climbing up through the mountains with outstanding views of the Flam River valley and the various waterfalls. Flam is also a great town to walk about and get some souvenirs. The final stop was Stavanger which is a pretty good sized city at the southern end of Norway. From the ship, we took the cruise of the Lysefjord fjord. This was a great trip, despite the only real serious rain of the whole cruise. We had views of the great waterfalls and the famous Pulpit Rock. An interesting stop for waffles and coffee was also made and much appreciated. Disembarkation We elected to have our luggage taken off the ship and meeting it on shore, though a leisurely walk-off is also available. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We found our luggage quickly as that is well-organized. Customs was nothing since we had nothing to declare. We, again, had a ride organized with Smith’s for Airports and he collected us on time and had us to Heathrow with time to spare. Summary All in all, this was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. Admittedly, much of that credit goes to the itinerary, but the ship, staff, service, food and everything about the Silhouette was top-notch. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to worry about the planning, logistics or stress of getting from place to place, figuring out meals or finding places to stay along the way. We chose Hurtigruten because neither of us are a fan of very "touristy" types of planned activities and destinations (including all-inclusive vacations and huge cruise ships), and with the smaller boats and the fact that they go to many of the smaller ports and towns that one would never see on their own without a boat and lots of time, and the whole operation seems to have a lighter touch on the communities they visit versus the huge negative impact that larger cruise ships seem to have on cities and cultural sites. Despite the cost, we were honestly not expecting much since we had read that Hurtigruten also serves as a commercial transport ship, car transport and ferry in addition to the destination touring function they provide. And they do provide these services, but they are integrated so nicely into the seamless operation of the voyage that they only added to the experience for us, rather than detracting in any way. But from the moment we stepped on board, to the time we departed, we were absolutely delighted with the whole experience. The whole ship was immaculate! Our room was larger and more comfortable and nicer than we thought from the photos we saw on Hurtigruten's website. We were also conveniently located to the two very nice and clean and cozy outdoor hot tubs and the 7th floor deck, sun porch, cafe and bar. The staff were kind, helpful and informative; the excursions were well-planned and every one that we participated in went smoothly and without a single hiccup. The guides on both the excursions and the boat were knowledgeable about many things and made each evening fun with planned lectures and activities for all the guests. And the food! It was all spectacular! Everything was fresh, deliciously prepared, plentiful, thoughtful, relevant to the regions and their food heritage, and beautifully spread. Of our nearly 3-weeks in the country, we only had a couple of other meals that topped the food we ate while on-board the ship, and this is saying a lot as we orient every vacation we take around trying to find the best cuisine that any place we visit has to offer. Other than the cost of some of the excursions (they were all so expensive we were not able to participate in as many as we would have liked), and many of the other guests that were extremely pushy and rude - especially during mealtimes and queuing up to leave the boat whenever we docked - there really are no bad things to say about the voyage, the staff, the length of the trip (we wished we could have stayed longer), the route, or anything else and hope to be able to return again someday with others from our family to take part in a longer voyage or wintertime voyage when the country has other experiences to offer! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We've wanted to visit these countries for some time and have enjoyed a Viking river cruise. In addition, we preferred to travel on a smaller ship, rather than a typical large ocean cruise ship. The Viking Sky has a well-designed ... Read More
We've wanted to visit these countries for some time and have enjoyed a Viking river cruise. In addition, we preferred to travel on a smaller ship, rather than a typical large ocean cruise ship. The Viking Sky has a well-designed interior: the public areas, like atriums, are spacious and attractively decorated. Our cabin, while not luxurious, was exactly what we needed, as we did not spend much time in it. The variety and quality of food was very good, not exquisite dining, but one cannot realistically exquisite when they are feeding over 900 passengers. We believe that the food was as good as can be expected on a cruise ship. A group of four talented vocalists backed up by four very capable musicians provided most of the entertainment. Of the various shows they performed, we especially enjoyed their tributes to Abba and the Beatles. In addition to these shows, the cruise director organized game nights and comedy acts. We enjoyed visiting all of the ports. The guides provided informative and interesting background information on the locales we visited. The optional excursions covered a wide range of activities. We wished only that Viking offered more than one "included" excursion per port. An important feature of the ship for me was its fitness center which was large and well-equipped with elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, treadmills, resistance machines and free weights. The staff and crew provided amazing service. They were always friendly and showed interest in the passengers. Every one of them we met tried to make our cruise a pleasant satisfying experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I had done a dozen or more ocean cruises and 2 Viking River cruises, but we'd not yet done a Viking Ocean cruise. We'd seen how they'd received Travel & Leisure magazines top ocean cruise line all four years ... Read More
My wife and I had done a dozen or more ocean cruises and 2 Viking River cruises, but we'd not yet done a Viking Ocean cruise. We'd seen how they'd received Travel & Leisure magazines top ocean cruise line all four years they'd been in existence, so we thought we should give it a try. The ship was just right. Not huge like many we'd been on, but with all the amenities we cared about. Nice dining rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, showroom, bars & lounges, a gym and thermal spa, and countless places to sit and hang out. The food and drink in all of the eating areas (World Cafe, Restaurant, Manfredi's, & Chef's Table) were excellent. The staff were friendly and attentive. We had a Deluxe Veranda cabin and it was exceptionally spacious compared to what we're accustomed to. The entertainment staff were very talented and versatile. We made it a point to make every evening's show and were never disappointed. The included excursions were overall great and the extra excursions we chose were wonderful. The ports and surrounding areas we visited were tremendous. Every country on this trip (England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Wales) was special in its own way. The Viking extension option we chose in Bergen had us in a hotel that was right in the heart of the 'happening' part of Bergen (Bryggen). Trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had taken Viking River cruises and decided to try the Viking Ocean. It did not disappoint. The ship is beautifully appointed and the staterooms are nicely done. Our stateroom was small but included everything we needed. The staff is ... Read More
We had taken Viking River cruises and decided to try the Viking Ocean. It did not disappoint. The ship is beautifully appointed and the staterooms are nicely done. Our stateroom was small but included everything we needed. The staff is very responsive and attentive. The entertainment includes singing and dancing and lectures by knowledgeable scholars. The food was excellent and includes two specialty restaurants that are not additionally priced and only need reservations. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner. You can also eat outside overlooking amazing scenery. There are two pools and two hot tubs. There is a gym and a spa center where you can go to use the steam or sauna as well as get treatments. The concierge desk was never crowded and had at least two people working at all times. For the most part our included excursions were good. There were a couple of itineraries that could use tweaking. The additional excursions (paid extra for) were very good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The main reason was sailing from Liverpool and a return visit to the Fjords. From our arrival at Pier Head all went smoothly. Our Balcony Suite was perfect, spacious, clean plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, met our needs and I ... Read More
The main reason was sailing from Liverpool and a return visit to the Fjords. From our arrival at Pier Head all went smoothly. Our Balcony Suite was perfect, spacious, clean plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, met our needs and I don't travel light. My husband had also requested a table for two and this was met. The Glentanar was a lovely, light, spacious Dining room, the breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent as was the waiter service dinner with excellent menu. We had lovely waiters but there were one or two who were not the friendliest. For our Anniversary Dinner we dined in the Black Watch Restaurant which again of high standard, my husband declared his steak one of the best ever. The ship was spotlessly clean in all areas, the Neptune Lounge especially pleasing.The Captain and Crew helped to make this a very special time for us. Flower Arrangement, bottle of Cava when we arrived and on the Day a lovely card, gift and Cava in Ice Bucket delivered to our suite along with our card from the Queen. In the evening we were presented with a lovely Happy Anniversary cake. These were all done in a very tasteful, no fuss way which we appreciated very much. My husband did have to visit the Cruise Doctor, again efficient attention.All in all this was a most memorable holiday, with wonderful scenery, off shore excursions and very relaxing on board atmosphere. Our first Fred Olsen Cruise but hopefully not our last.Thank you to everyone who helped in making this a very happy memorable occasion. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue ... Read More
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue a I had was the length of stay in Bergen as it was really not enough time to see the city as there were many things to look and see in this wonderful city. The cruise itself was average as the boat did sort of showed it aged but Princess did a good job of renovating it. Dining was fine as the menu selection was close to the local food. The sea was not too rough as most of the time it was smooth sailing. The entertainment was fine but was not too exciting as I would have expected. The comedian Juggler I think was the best of all of the shows. We liked the music playing in the piazza as we sat with out latte and relax. The movies under the stars was good - except it was kindof chilly which is expected. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable ... Read More
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable service, cuisine, facilities, entertainment- there cannot be a better cruise line than this. I am a customer service expert, so I have high standards and Crystal surpassed every expectation. Every single item of cuisine at every single meal or snack was exceptional. They even had a wonderful variety of sugar-free and gluten-free treats which were most welcome for those of us with dietary restrictions. The staff handled all that with ease and a smile. Every single staff member from the gangplank to the crew to the waiters to the stewardesses were delightful and the best you will ever experience. Really marvelous service. The entertainment was way beyond what I was expecting, and there were informative lectures and movies, and so much more. They even had the astronaut who rescued the Hubble Space Telescope giving talks. Very impressive. They imported a number of special guests performers, and the in-house artists were all world class too. The excursions, while expensive, and extra, were ll top notch and absolutely beautiful. The fjords are astonishing and spectacular. The ship has been nicely refurbished and is spacious, bursting with every possible amenity, planet of space. There is so much to do, or not do, that every taste will be satisfied. The spa and fitness center were excellent and spacious. The cabin was ample and the double sink in its bathroom was a nice touch. the bathroom was sizable, and I could even stand up n the show and in 99% of the ship even though I am 6'-8"/203cm tall. We loved having a verandah and could have sat out there all day and never left and been very happy (thanks to the free and wonderful room service). Of course, there was some internet spottiness above the Arctic Circle and in the fjords, but it's still miraculous to even have internet on the high seas. It turned out to be a minor inconvenience, but was better than our last Crystal cruise on the Symphony, but that was before their remodel and internet upgrade. I would HIGHLY recommend Crystal Cruises for any route, and I would very much recommend Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords as destination- really exceptional and awesomely beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We choose this cruise for the destination and size of ship, it was a very special occasion for our friends, their golden wedding anniversary we are all fast approaching 70, young at heart and outgoing but this was like a care home for the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the destination and size of ship, it was a very special occasion for our friends, their golden wedding anniversary we are all fast approaching 70, young at heart and outgoing but this was like a care home for the eighties, and we were all treated likewise, in fact we felt like cargo. The ammount of maintenance work going on was unbelievable the continuous smell of paint was awful, we were woken before 8.00 one-morning to the sound of a drill above our cabins. The keys to our cabin door did not work and we had to change this 3 times, but couldn’t get anyone to come and look at the lock. Towards the end of holiday we were due to cruise through the Fjords but due to windy weather the previous day and not being able to get out of port we had to come straight back to Southampton, we didn’t get to see the scenery we really went for We would all agree that the food was very good, as were the staff in dinning room. We have been on many other cruise ships before and have never had to complain, this is the worst ever. We would not recommend Fred Olsen cruises to anyone unless of course you need a care home.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to go to Norwegian Fjords cruise for quite a long time so, when I saw this cruise on special promotion and checked its itinerary, we bought it the very same date. Itinerary is very important as many cruise ships just stop at ... Read More
We wanted to go to Norwegian Fjords cruise for quite a long time so, when I saw this cruise on special promotion and checked its itinerary, we bought it the very same date. Itinerary is very important as many cruise ships just stop at major cities where you should take local fjords tours, which are pricy as everything in Norway. This cruise had excellent itinerary, I could not wish to be better. First of all - it started in Amsterdam harbour, which is in about 40 min taxi from Airport. We took this opportunity to explore town of Harlem, with is absolutely beautiful and provides very different experience in compare to crowded touristic Amsterdam. Embarkation was fine except one of our suitcases was never delivered to the cabin and we picked it up by ourselves, staying lonely by the elevators :) First ship impression - WOW! we never saw such kitch before. Do not believe anyone, who wrote this ship design was impressed by Italian castles. It was rather impressed by Gipsy kings houses and made by people, who never saw anything produced in Italy :) Despite its design, ship is very well structured and its quite easy to get where you want different ways. On-board experience - Costa cruises do promotions on their cruises very often, so never buy their cruise full price. In return everything on board is PRICY. Drinks are expensive, photos - very expensive, paying restaurants - expensive and price for SPA is over expensive. As result service staff is busy whole day, trying to catch customers for their services. Looks like Stambul market a bit and annoying as well. On the other side, you can always say no, which let you control your expenses. Only thing you can not avoid is ironing, which is expensive as well, and they do not let you to iron things by yourself :) Its strongly recommended to buy wine and water package as soon as you are on board or in advance. Internet - Costa has great option for unlimited Facebook, Instagram and messengers for only 5 Euro per day. Dining - though buffet on the upper floor was mostly disappointing as mentioned in many reviews, menu breakfast and evening dining at the main restaurant was superb! Dishes were on top restaurant quality and we really put on weight during the cruise as could not miss any course, some times asking for the same dish twice for the evening! 5 stars to the chef! Our evening waiter really provided us top service possible. Same time room service was good at the beginning, but starting from the middle of the trip made it worse and stop doing anything, even cleaning at all for last two days. Probably he expected to get a tip after two days? Needless to say he did not get anything. For excursions we used local company called Norwegian Excursions which I'm glad to recommend. Unfortunately we decided to use Costa Excursions for Stavanger and Bremen and it was complete disaster. First of all you can not neither complain nor get any refund. Excursion desk is always full with unsatisfied customers, but its written in their terms - no refund in any case, except full cancelation of the excursion by local provider! Costa acts as local provider agent and in case you are not satisfied with your experience, Costa may provide you with local provider details and you may send your complains directly to them. Costa sold us Fjord trip in Stavanger, stating its going to be small boat cruise, you'll go behind the waterfall with this boat, while sipping Prosecco with nice music, observing fjord though its glass roof. In fact local provider gave us a transport ferry, which is not even close to the promised small boat and not suitable for any excursions at all. Needless to say, Costa did not provided any refund. Excursion in Bremen lasted only 2 hours, despite this day stop in harbour is over 6 hours - I think they just save on buses. Best solution was just to go to harbour shopping center with local bus. Fellow passengers complained on other excursions as well.. Some did not book any excursions at all, always choosing the ones in local ports - good idea! Ship has very good disco room, which starts to work as disco at midnight acting as teen zone before this time. Entertainment was mostly different dancing performances which is not in our style, though Roberto Sinagoga signing performance was really impressive. Animators team was great and do perfect job! Summary: If you buy your cruise with discount, avoid Costa Spa and excursions, there is good possibility to enjoy Costa cruise even with few cocktails every day. Tipping your cabin attendant at the beginning might be a good idea. Quickly on ports - Bergen - nothing to do except little old district and tourist fish market, If weather permits, take funicular uphill (buy tickets through internet to avoid cue) and hike up there - they have beautiful nature trails there. Stavanger - considered to be most beautiful city in Norway. Probably it is. We downloaded map of Stavanger graffiti festival and did our own city quest searching for different graffities - it was amazing! Alesund - Troll wall is not quite interesting, and troll road is a must! nothing to do in town itself, though we do good shopping of local tourist equipment in local outdoor outlet. Geiranger - Just took standard excursion, which should including mount Danisba (or something like that) and 7 sisters view point. Avoid hope on bus - it won't take you there. Olden - Piece of glacier you see is quite small though road to it is fun despite crowded. You can get there with Norway Excursions as well as take excursion in the harbour. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
OVERVIEW My husband and I are a 50'ish couple who are not regular cruisers. I have always wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords, and when i saw a good sale with 2 perks last fall, i jumped! We were originally booked in a standard ... Read More
OVERVIEW My husband and I are a 50'ish couple who are not regular cruisers. I have always wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords, and when i saw a good sale with 2 perks last fall, i jumped! We were originally booked in a standard veranda cabin but about 10 days before we sailed, we received an email offering us to bid on moving up to Aqua class. I bid $10 (per-person) over the minimum, and we won our bid. I had no idea how much we would adore that Aqua class! The restaurant, BLU, was fantastic. We loved, with one exception, every single item of food we ate in BLU. Everything about the ship and the staff was wonderful - the Silhouette is clean and elegant and full of nice, if sometimes goofy, spaces (that Sky lounge's decor is straight outta a Star Trek episode - like, an alien's idea of what a fancy bar on a ship on Earth should look like). Yet we grew quite fond of that funny Sky Lounge. We also spent a lot of time in the Ensemble Lounge as we really enjoyed the quirky yet super talented musical duo playing there most nights, along with a guitarist/vocalist who also played in the Lounge. It was music we actually wanted to listen to, but could still have a conversation, and it is dimly-lit, so i always looked very nice in the Ensemble Lounge. The staff, almost without fail, was efficient, friendly, and good at their jobs. The public areas, including bathrooms,were spotless no matter what time of day it was; we felt very pampered on this trip. We did miss a good full jogging track outside - the one they have is silly and not long enough. Since I am a walker and not a jogger, and it wasn't particularly beautiful weather, I just either walked on the treadmill or chose a floor with nothing but cabins, and walked long laps. My husband ran on the treadmills. However, had it been really nice weather, we would have been annoyed at having to be inside to get good exercise. Specifics below, if you want them: EMBARKATION - We are from the U.S., and had never been to Southampton, and I was a bit worried about getting to Southampton from London with all of our luggage, but we took the train down the night before, and then got a taxi to the pier in the morning. The train was comfortable and we just put our luggage next to our seats. it was very easy! Our instructions said to arrive between 10:30 and 11, but we arrived around noon. Since I had just been upgraded to Aqua, we hadn't received new luggage tags yet, but a guy was there, johnny-on-the-spot, and he made us new tags and carted off our luggage. We walked into the city terminal building and saw a pretty long line - it was not very organized in the "exterior" part of the line, so if for some reason Aqua class cabins could have gotten into a shorter or different line, nobody told us that or pointed us toward a different line. So we stood in the "main" line, and waited about 15 or 20 minutes before we got "inside" past security - at that point, we WERE directed by some very quick-acting and smiling people, to go to a special line, and we essentially went right up to a window to register and get our pictures taken and to get our Sea Pass cards. Once onboard, we received pink sparkling wine, and then wandered around the ship until our room was ready just a bit after 1:00. CABIN - We were in 1514, a very forward cabin on the Starboard side. My husband was worried about sea sickness and feeling the motion of the ship, so I therefore worried about how far forward we were and how high up we were, but really, she is a big ship, the Silhouette, and for the most part we never felt much movement at all. The very first morning we heard some odd noises above us, right around 7:00 AM - and learned later that we were right underneath the gym. The sounds were a combo of something being dragged around and then - maybe - someone on a bike or treadmill I think. ANYWAY, i then worried we would be awoken each day by these sounds, but that was the only day we really heard anything at all from above us. The only other noise issue we encountered was the night/morning we sailed into Geiranger, which is an town in an inlet in northern Norway. It was apparently an excessively and unrelentingly foggy night and morning, as the captain blew the fog horn every few minutes for HOURS. LITERAL HOURS. It was so loud in our room, it seemed like the horn was on our balcony. We got no sleep that night. Those were the only blights on the room. I thought it had lots of usable storage space, and we did like the extra-fancy shower experience that they provide in Aqua cabins. Our room steward was the best! Ali truly worked seemingly non-stop - our cabin was cleaned essentially the moment we left in the morning, and he somehow always knew when we were out for dinner to provide the turn-down service and leave us our chocolate and next day's planner. Dining - I can't say enough good things about BLU. One of the few other cruises we took was MANY years ago, on the Celebrity Mercury, and the dining room and food on that cruise were exceptional. We know times and the industry have changed so didn't expect much, but we were very happily surprised. It is "anytime" dining but we only ever had to wait one night - the very first night. Other than that, we could walk in at anytime and get a fantastic table immediately. My husband's steaks were tender and flavorful and cooked perfectly medium-rare, my salmon was always rare, as I like it, and our other entrees, as well as our starters and sides were very very good also - salads had fresh ingredients and vegetables were not overcooked. I do think they don't have enough staff in BLU and some nights we waited a bit to have someone take our order, but we could see the waiters practically being run off their feet, so we didn't take that personally. When they did come to our table, we got very personal and efficient service. But Celebrity should staff more appropriately in this restaurant I think. We ate most lunches in the OceanView and that food was delish as well. I tended to focus on the Indian food (REALLY REALLY GOOD), and the "grilled delights" were i could get a thinly-sliced piece of chicken breast that was nicely seasoned. The food was hot - even one day when we got in just as they were finishing the lunchtime meal - and plentiful. My husband liked the pizza and usually found something at the carvery to eat as well. Since it was not a hot weather cruise, I was worried the OceanView would be super crowded (people weren't inclined to eat outside), but we only had one day where we struggled to find a table. The service was good at the tables and staff quickly came over to get our drink orders pr clear our plates. Entertainment - my husband is a bit of a drag and refused to go see ANY of the shows. I did hear one couple describe one of the shows as "rubbish", and everyone around them nodded in agreement - it sounded kind of high-concept for a ship, some acrobatics, some singing, maybe an attempt at a plot? (maybe my husband isn't a drag, maybe he is just "wise") We focused on trivia - which we lost - but which we had lots of fun playing; Karaoke - which we only 'watched' but LOVED all of it - those English/Irish/Welsh are quite good at Karaoke, and the activities person in charge of Karaoke was hilarious. She was helpful when a singer needed some assistance (very rarely - since these were English/Irish/Welsh, people who seemingly spend the bulk of their lives in bars, learning the words and cadence to every single song written since 1960), she was full of funny asides, and just a perfect host for the event. We also, as I previously mentioned, like to spend time in the Ensemble Lounge, listening to the "contemporary duo" and also Angie, the guitarist/vocalist. Both acts are very talented and had shockingly large repertoires, they weren't really what we expected on a large cruise line, and we liked that about them. We enjoyed hanging out before and/or after dinner, and the wait staff and bartenders in Ensemble were lovely. They immediately remembered the beer my husband asked for on our first night, I think because they thought it was funny that anyone would want Miller Lite, and would have it for him practically as soon as he caught their eye. I have never really understood why people care who the cruise director is BUT we liked the looks of Sue as soon as we saw her picture, and one night in the SKY Lounge, she danced over to me and said something about what a fun night it was, and I have to say, I felt her good energy. PORTS: NORWAY IS AMAZING. WE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. It is stunning, awe-inspiring, gorgeous (i could go on and on with superlatives, but will end there), the people are friendly, and it is easy to navigate. Bergen - we mostly walked around town looking for a bus to the mountain overlook - there is so much talk about the funicular to Floyen but I had it on good authority that Ulriken provided a better view. However, my google maps hadn't downloaded yet while we were in Bergen so there was no info on mass transit options. We finally found the bus station where a patient woman explained to us which bus to take and where to pick it up, and then we took the 12 to the Hospital (north exit, don't go under the bridge!) then walked behind the hospital, up the hill, to the cable car. It was AWESOME at the top of Ulriken. GO THERE. You won't be sorry. Alesund - we took a Celebrity excursion to a ski mountain where we had again AWESOME views. (the theme of Norway is definitely, AWESOME views). We had to take a bus and a ferry and a cable car, but it was well worth it. We also got traditional Norwegian waffles served to us at the top of the mountain, which was funny to us as we live around many people of Norwegian descent here in the midwest, and none of them claim waffles as the most beloved food of their home country. They all try to make us eat Lefse, which is bland and dull and quite inferior to a soft waffle. Geiranger - We had pre-purchased tickets on a local tourist bus - not a hop-on, it takes you to two specific scenic points in Geiranger - very inexpensive and picks you up right at the port! Sadly, one stop was inaccessible as we were so early in the season that the road at the very top was still closed because of snow (so we stopped at a slightly less-high point - I think that would have been fine, on a clear day - this was our foggy town - the fog came in on monstrous cat feet and sat, on its big fat haunches, overlooking the harbor, the town, the hills, the fjords, etc, and broke all of the Silhouette's passengers' hearts that day in Geiranger) - and the other stop seems like it would have been AWESOME, as it was a perfect view of two rock walls as the water curved between them - at this second stop, the fog lifted for a few seconds here and there, so we could get a glimpse of the stunning scene we were missing out on. Still, once the bus deposited us back down in the harbor, we walked up the waterfall that is right off the pier - it is a really easy walk to the top, and despite the fact that most of the landscape was still covered in fog and clouds, we could see rolling hills and green green grass and flowering trees and not just the waterfall we had walked up, but 2 or 3 others. It is a beautiful, awe inspiring area. I imagine the beauty of it all in sunlight would have blinded me,so it is probably fine that we had such bad weather there. Stavanger - crazy town! It is very industrial, as it is the petroleum capital of Norway (fyi, if you are interested in the petroleum museum, you do NOT need to purchase that as an excursion on Celebrity. The petroleum museum is essentially IN the harbor. You can make it on your own! We did not go in but we saw it RIGHT there.) But in the midst of this industrial town sit hundreds of charming white houses on cobblestone streets, which were originally built for cannery workers, and then restored in the not too distant past. People actually live in them, so don't stare in windows, but do walk around and through those streets. Just trust me on this one. Also, we took the Strandafjell cruise and that was AWESOME. I felt like we saw some of the grandeur we couldn't see in Geiranger. It was a gorgeous ride. We sailed to Pulpit Rock ultimately, with a stop in a cove with a history relating to bank robbers, AND a stop for WAFFLES. I am not sure how many cruises we will ever take in our lives, but we really enjoyed the ship, the people we met onboard, the crew, the Captain, the karaoke, and Norway. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
we've just come back from majestic fjords with beautiful scenery and weather but alas was a disaster the ship was full the room was small uncomfortable and very noisy broken sleep with funnel next door no transfer of ... Read More
we've just come back from majestic fjords with beautiful scenery and weather but alas was a disaster the ship was full the room was small uncomfortable and very noisy broken sleep with funnel next door no transfer of room available several complaints unresolved reception issues couldn't get a buffet table was like being on a Costa ship Also the cost was very reasonably priced on the face of it.. but.. When you factors in cost of excursions and car parking then not so reasonable. So.. if the basics are not right.. then you can't really fully enjoy the good bits. Good Majestic fjord land Very relaxing with beautiful scenery Awesome in fact but that's the natural side of fjords for you with 3d passages that melt away and mountain overhangs you can almost touch as the ship sails through occasional narrow channels but you have to be up on deck at the right time to see them 1 particular spot was like the scene from Jason and the argonauts were Neptune pops up out of the water to save the ship from clashing cliff tops. Weather from other previous holiday comments weather could be very wet especially in Bergen but Unexpectedly the weather was gloriously sunny all week although occasionally very windy and cold Room Free use of safe Tea making but limited with small table and kettle Only 2 sockets in room Bed very uncomfortable and small for me Food Good value food with excellent English breakfast On gala and captains night the cuisine was excellent on other nights could be average though Cream teas and biscuits are to die for unfortunately everyone else felt the same.! when everyone comes back from days out at same time there are queues and shoving going on then finding a table is difficult too when ship is at capacity, which rather takes most of the pleasure out of it. The food is very good in general if not repetitive tho, sometimes bland and not very hot all of the time but one has to remember the cost of some of the cruises. The service is good in general as the staff trying hard to accommodate everyone but again because of this you can be waiting for 15 mins or more for a drink in certain bars. Cocktails of the day are usually very good and reasonably cheap at £3.50 per day. They did a wheat beer at same price which was a bonus as it's 1 of my favourites even tho its £1.25 in aldis I was just happy to see it as most cruises don't seem to accommodate wheat beer usually Bad Beds uncomfortable Small room and shower Tv poor Our room 5111 very noisy all day and all night Also had smelly gas smells from engines and main funnel Complained twice but not taken seriously. Like trying to sleep on a rollercoaster 1st time they sprayed carpet for smells 2nd time gave me ear plugs which were not adequate. Said they were full and couldn't change my room but found out later that they hold back some rooms in case of emergency. So our 50th and 60th birthday holiday was spoiled through lack of sleep and rest. 1st dining time too early and 2nd too late Only 1 buffet restaurant which was packed full several times with no spare tables and a scramble to get anything. The 2 main service restaurants too slow when busy and food some times not hot enough even when not busy. Excursions over priced and not good value when you can walk off and do some of the so called tours for nothing or a lot less when you just pop into tourist information and a small "what's available?" Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had a wonderful Northern Lights Cruise. Our first cruise, we were new to every aspect and expected some hiccups... There were none. Embarkation was incredibly swift, staff at port really helpful too. We were on the ship and in ... Read More
We had a wonderful Northern Lights Cruise. Our first cruise, we were new to every aspect and expected some hiccups... There were none. Embarkation was incredibly swift, staff at port really helpful too. We were on the ship and in the restaurant having lunch before our check-in time. The ship is lovely and I'm sure will be even more so after its 'spruce up' later this month. Lovely areas to sit and relax. Attentive staff in all areas. Cabin (E139) was lovely, everything you needed. Our cabin steward was fantastic. We kept it tidy anyway but it was spotless after he had been in and shined the mirrors and replenished supplies. A very warm and friendly chap. The dining was lovely. We had planned freedom but we're given a 6.30pm on a table of 8 in the Alexandria restaurant. We weren't sure if we wanted that as that meant sitting with strangers. But we gave it a go and we now have new friends! The food was lovely. Some things weren't to my taste but you get that in any restaurant. Steaks were cooked perfectly. Our lovely trio of friendly welcoming waiters made the whole dining experience extra special. Dining in the Horizon buffet restaurant for other meals was also very good. Again occasional things not to my taste but whilst mindful not to be wasteful I didn't eat something for the sake of it and would try something else instead. Waiting staff in here again very nice. We went along to the evening entertainment several nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. The pianist was excellent too and we wished we had sat and listened to him more. Quizzes, cards, a few pounds in the casino all good fun. Getting on and off at ports was organised well. Ports were all lovely. Daily horizon magazine detailed what was going on when and where on the ship. There was so much we could have done if we hadnt wanted to be up on deck so much. The art lecturer was most likely very interesting and the gallery had some beautiful pieces. The photography lectures would have been interesting too. But being on the deck taking in the majesty of the fjords with their snow covered mountains was the place we spent most of our days. Or sitting in a window seat in the Horizon restaurant having a cup of tea (and small cake). The pools were open and two heated but we missed our chances to go in. We saw the gym but rather than go there we decided to not use the lifts and to walk around the promenade deck. 3.2 turns = 1 mile. .... As this was the Nothern Light's Cruise, we hoped to see the lights and we were incredibly fortunate to see them twice. One show from the ship in Alta lasted around 30min it was beautiful although not very strong. The following night sailing away from Alta around 8.30pm a wonderful display lasting nearly two hours. Absolutely mesmerising!! They had also been seen the previous night on one of the tours. And then sadly the cruise draws to an end. Luggage outside cabin the night before disembarking. We got up for breakfast. Met at our designated venue and were led off the ship. Straight to a hanger where we picked up our luggage, rolled the trolley outside and got the next taxi waiting in the rank. Couldn't have been anymore straightforward. We had driven to Southampton the night before sailing. Used the justpark app to rent a space and stayed in a bed and breakfast in the centre. Got parking and B&B for just £100 and meant no stress of same day travelling. ... Almost all perfect... The only thing that I would change are the very small number of whinging passengers (which I assume you find on any holiday). I find it is best if you just use listening to and watching them as another form of entertainment... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Having been all over the world with Saga on land based holidays , when we looked for a Cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday we automatically looked to Saga having been entirely satisfied with our previous holidays with them. Well that ... Read More
Having been all over the world with Saga on land based holidays , when we looked for a Cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday we automatically looked to Saga having been entirely satisfied with our previous holidays with them. Well that was the right decision, we fancied a winter Norwegian Cruise, and one which specifically aimed at experiencing the Northern Lights seemed an exciting prospect As ever every detail was taken care of, from being picked up at your front door with your luggage through a seemless boarding process at Dover all promised a wonderful holiday experience,which is exactly what we got An upgrade to deck 10 was an unexpected bonus,but all passengers got the same attentive service wherever their cabin was. The whole cruise was ammended to all inclusive which was another nice touch,and we opted for fixed dining which was a delight. The food on this ship is awesome, and the after dinner cheeseboard is the best we have ever experienced anywhere Evening shows were professional and Ancora joining the cruise for week two ensured some never to be forgotten performances, the whole entertainment package was outstanding for a relatively small ship Lectures from accomplished speakers about destinations and other related subjects were interesting and thought provoking, and the library would meet anyone’s taste, complete with librarian. This is proper cruising, no razzmatazz or gimmicks, just traditional formal nights, sumptuous food and well chosen wines and a feeling everyone simply wanted you to enjoy yourselves Saga Sapphire is an old ship, but she is immaculately kept and polished to within a inch of her life morning, noon and night. At every port a free shuttle bus service to the town is available unless the berth is literally in the town centre We were incredibly lucky to see the Northern Lights on three separate nights due to high levels of sunspot activity and on our official included trip to “hunt” the Lights in a dark sky area we were treated to an hour long display of the Northern Lights which were absolutely breathtaking Overall we had a wonderful cruise, seeing the Lights was the proverbial icing on the cake Let’s be clear, Saga isn’t the cheapest cruise provider, but the quality of their cruise experience is truly 5star and on an all inclusive cruise like this you genuinely don’t need to spend any money for the whole cruise unless of course you choose to go on optional excursions The real test is would we Cruise with Saga again; in our case the answer is definitely yes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We ... Read More
The whole experience of this expedition voyage was absolutely wonderful. We chose the cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and we decided to go on the Astronomy tour, when there would be an astronomer on board. We have never travelled on a ship for so long, and for us this was a great voyage of adventure and not a run of the mill "cruise". It certainly surpassed our expectations. Hurtigruten organise everything superbly and the expedition team on board are very knowledgeable, helpful and add to the overall experience during the voyage. There is a schedule each day that also has important information on it and points of interest are highlighted on the way, often with a gathering about the sight. The astronomy talks were brilliant and added to the overall experience and we were so lucky to see so mainly northern light displays during our voyage, and with the astronomer , John, who shared his knowledge about this wonderful natural phenomena. The food on board was excellent. Lots of it and lots of choice too. Evening meal except 2 nights was 3 course a la carte, which was very nice. Tea and coffee is also available at certain places on the ship throughout the day and after evening meal for those on a package. All staff are really helpful and polite and will do anything to help. Drinks are expensive as is the case in Scandinavia. We opted for a house wine drinks package. All in all a glass of wine is around £10, so we thought the wine package would be more economical. There were about 6 different choices of wine on this package, either red or white and most were nice quality. There are also beer packages as well. We went on 2 trips which we highly recommend. North Cape on day 6 and snowmobiling on day 7. Very well organised. The only point to make is that we booked our excursions prior to the holiday, as we were told it would get booked up. We were told that one trip was fully booked so we opted for another instead. However, on board all the trips had places advertised by the expedition team and you could book with them very easily on board and the trip we originally wanted had lots of space. if we did it again we would probably wait to book excursions until on board. A great variety of hikes were on offer as well. Even though we did not venture on these we heard from others how great they were. There is plenty of opportunity, depending on the weather, to get off the ship. More so on the Northern voyage. There are plenty of great areas on the ship to view the wonderful scenery from inside and deck 9 has a large outside deck area that was the main place to view the northern lights. The cabins are clean and have plenty of storage space. We were on deck 6 which has the viewing areas and the muster station. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly ... Read More
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly impressed by the courteous staff, who gave us a free upgrade, & also took care of my wife when she felt sea sick during mild rolling. The spread of food during all the meals was impressive. Even the shop on board had a nice variety of souvenirs for us to bring back. Our shore excursion to Trondheim was a memorable one. We were also fortunate enough to sight the Aurora Borealis from the observation deck. Although I was denied a visit to the Engine Room by the Chief Engineer despite me being a marine engineer by profession, I would definitely go again, after a few years, if I get a good discounted deal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on ... Read More
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on other larger ships, if you are looking for pure luxury and entertainment then this is definitely not the cruise for you. Also you have to remember that this is a working boat so. Calls into several ports during the night so expected broken sleep on the first few nights. You soon become acclimatised to the noise so wasn’t too much of a nuisance to us. The food served at the buffets is varied and everyone should be able to ind something they like. The set meals are quite small portions which again suited us as we had the 8pm sitting and didn’t want to go to bed after heavy meal. It looked beautiful and we enjoyed all the different Norwegian recipes served but again heard some people complaining about the portion sizes and menu. The answer to this is to speak to the head waitress either earlier in the day to change whatever it is you don’t fancy or speak to the waitress when it is brought to the table and they will change it/ bring you more etc. They couldn’t have been more helpful. Also be warned that an average bottle of wine is £45 +! A glass of wine or beer is £10! The prices are roughly the same in the local alcohol stores so it’s not that Hurtigruten are over charging it is just the price of everything generally in Norway. We took alcohol on board with us to drink in our cabin and it did not cause a problem. If you want a different and reasonably priced experience with good food and beautiful scenery this is definitely the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two ... Read More
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two hurricanes! We put into Stavanger instead of Eidfjord and it's a beautiful little town, well worth a visit and delighted that we went there. We also went to Amsterdam (fabulous) and loved the organised river cruise with superb guide. We then went to Bergen (more rain) and Rotterdam (it stopped raining there for a little while!). Both interesting cities. The architecture in Rotterdam is fantastic while Bergen is a very beautiful old city with lots of character. The Astoria was built in the 1940s and I would describe it as very slightly faded grandeur but it is still certainly grand. There's a cinema and concert 'hall' with a lovely atmosphere. The entertainment was a really good standard and most enjoyable. Meals: I was taken aback by the small portions at lunch and dinner in the restaurant on board but in fact there were many, many courses, all very tasty and enjoyable. Great variety of food including veggie options and gluten free. You can also eat at the Grill on board. It's not as cosy as the restaurant where you sit at a table with other guests. We met the most lovely couple (and many others too through tours, bridge, concerts etc., ) and that made our trip especially fun. Cabins good. We had an outside cabin and last night as we came into the UK we left the curtains open to enjoy the moonlight on the calm sea. We were just above the water line on Mediterannean Deck and no one can see in! We had a bath/shower room. Everything was spotless. Crew - very friendly and helpful. Yes, it was a shame that we didn't get to the fjords but it would have been foolhardy to risk over 750 lives onboard (500 guests and over 250 crew). I have previously cruised on another line with large vessels and a thousand or so guests. I did not enjoy them but I love the Astoria. She's a brave little ship and got us through terrible weather safely. We are already planning the next cruise with Cruise Maritime Voyages. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are just back from one of the best cruises we have had on the beautiful Azura. Fantastic from the moment we pulled up in the car portside and had our bags efficiently whisked away to and the smiling check in ladies and gents. Our ... Read More
We are just back from one of the best cruises we have had on the beautiful Azura. Fantastic from the moment we pulled up in the car portside and had our bags efficiently whisked away to and the smiling check in ladies and gents. Our cabin was available immediately and our bags were there before we were, and it only took us 20 minutes to board! Our cabin was immaculate, and bright and well furnished, Irene our steward was there to greet us and inform us of where our muster station would be for the safety drill later and also to take those all important orders for drinks or ice etc. Champagne on the balcony and the excitement of a 7 day adventure awaited. Book. Don’t worry. Azura is fantastic, the staff are as nice as you are to them... First trip to Norway, itinerary was excellent, as were the trips we went on. But there is much to do under your own steam too. We have returned home relaxed and happy, totally pampered and with wonderful memories. Thank you P&O, the Staff and Crew of Azura We WILL book with P&O again, in fact, cant wait! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first cruise. We never considered a cruise before but the deal for 8 nights to the Norwegian Fjords was an offer we couldn’t refuse. My husband couldn’t believe going to notoriously expensive Norway could be achieved at ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We never considered a cruise before but the deal for 8 nights to the Norwegian Fjords was an offer we couldn’t refuse. My husband couldn’t believe going to notoriously expensive Norway could be achieved at such good value yet it is all inclusive ie: cabin, all food, all drinks/alcohol, entertainment, tips etc We were not impressed by the embarkation which was a shambles. Ten check in desks for over 1800 guests caused a long wait for everyone. However, once on board everything was great for the deal we had booked. The whole ship was kept spotlessly clean and tidy, the staff were fantastic providing a friendly, effecient and professional service. Our inside cabin was small but had ample storage, a hairdryer, coffee/tea facilities, a tv, the en-suite was a bit like a caravan with shower curtain rather than screen but we coped ok, our cabin was cleaned by Pande who did a great job. The food in several different eateries was great with plenty of variety. We normally had breakfast and lunch at Islands buffet restaurant and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal each evening at 47 which in any other restaurant along with alcohol, coffee etc would have probably cost a minimum of £75. Service was exemplary. Special mention to Paul Col the main chef and Ajay his assistant, for the wonderful food, the quality astounded us considering there were so many covers. Special mention for waiters Trajche from Mexico and Manuel from Honduras who provided great service. There were two shows each evening in the beautiful Art Deco styled thie: singing, dancing, costumes and was often better than many shows we’ve seen elsewhere provided by a young, energetic and enthusiastic team. In other areas there was live music. Special mention to the band B12 and fantastic solo saxophonist Vernal. There are other areas on the ship ie the inside pool (food and drink served there too, served with a smile by Stanislavsky), Outside pool where there are different functions, nightly films shown, BBQ, live music. Table tennis tables are provided. There are quiz’s and dancing classes during the day. A climbing wall. The deck has walking circuit which many people used. It sounds busy but we always found a quiet area to read etc. There were plenty of bars available where alcolhol/drinks were served freely. The sailing was done over night, the ship docked at a different easily accessible destination each day. The destinations all had a different feel to them. We had no regrets visiting Norway, it’s a beautiful, clean country. We didn’t book any excursions as we found them expensive. We researched ahead of time (often using trip advisor) and did some DIY excursions. The Flam railway was wonderful. We got off ship early, there was a short walk to railway station, booked the next train which left 1/2 hour later, the train wasn’t as busy as those on the excursion trips. Needless to say sailing through the Fjords before docking in the morning or leaving a destination late afternoon/early evening were spectacular, stunning, unspoilt and truly beautiful. We particularly enjoyed from the front of the ship the sun setting one evening If another deal came our way particularly to an expensive destination, we would definitely consider Marella Cruises again and would not hesitate to recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 ... Read More
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 hours to board the ship. Totally unprepared for check in with 8 stations open and the card registration crashing constantly. The ship itself as a previous Royal Carribean ship was OK The staff were uninterested and personally witnessed what I believe was 5he staff helping themselves to wine from the islands cafe and transferring into implements at the waiters station. The shows in the broadway lounge were pathetic and the one act they brought in which was a magic/comedian act made ourselves and a large number of people walkout as it was worst than you would see in a working mans club. For the first three days I was bombarded with staff trying to upgrade my all inclusive package to a premium package, this was indicative of the cruise with regard to trying you to spend more and mor3 money on nothing more than crap. I have cruised many times before and this is by far the worst overall experience I have experienced. This is no mor3 than a poor performance of Haven on the seas. Don’t waste your money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by ... Read More
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by air very frequently over the years, we found the whole process easy, pleasant and was on the ship within 30 minutes of getting out of our car next to the ship. Our experience of the ship was great - the staff were very attentive, helpful and really added to the trip. The decor was nice, we liked the amenities available (although we are not really into sun loungers or pools, so didn't use those facilities). The food standard was very good, the food in the MDR was good (although we generally either went to a speciality restaurant or the Windjammer most evenings). There were numerous bars are onboard with a variety of themes and acts that support them, The entrainment on the whole was good, we enjoyed the shows (Grease and the Ice Shows were the highlights). The street parties on the promenade were also enjoyable. The itinerary was fantastic - we was not disappointed with any of the port stops, although a lot was closed in Bergen (Sunday) however we wanted to go on the Funicular, so spend our time at the top then took a hop on - hop off bus round the area. The 8 nights were nothing short of excellent overall. Our only comment was the cabin whilst clean and maintained well by our cabin steward (special mention to Warner on Deck 7 - fantastic service and a credit to the ship), was showing signs of age (as were most, as the recent refurbishment only appears to have been done to cater for the incoming new cabins). Finally worth noting - many comments have been made on the subject of the changes causing overcrowding. Having not been onboard prior to this trip, it may be noticeable to previous guests, however on our trip we didn't feel this was the case. We did sail the last day of August, so not many children were on the ship compared too the previous several weeks and Norway isn't likely a family choice over the Med or the Canaries, so likely played a part in appearing to be lower in capacity. We liked our trip so much that within 4 days of being back - we have booked again for next year (to the Med - but out of school holidays). If the reviews gave you 2nd thoughts - our advice is give it a try. We are very glad we did. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
For my wife and I this was our very first cruise. We went to the Norwegian Fjords aboard Independence of the Seas. We booked this cruise as we were told that it was a great trip and the Independence had, according to the Royal Caribbean ... Read More
For my wife and I this was our very first cruise. We went to the Norwegian Fjords aboard Independence of the Seas. We booked this cruise as we were told that it was a great trip and the Independence had, according to the Royal Caribbean brochure "been given a makeover from stern to bow". This is not true, parts of the ship may have been changed, BUT our room certainly had not seen any makeover. I have included a cabin review in the separate section. We spoke to some other passengers and they indicated there cabins were OK but had not been madeover as they had been led to believe. The boarding process was pretty good but we had to wait to get into the cabin, as this was our first cruise we did not really know what to expect. It became the norm to have to queue to get into the dining room. We were on "anytime" dining and we reserved times for dining for particular times. The food generally is good with service to match, although at times it seemed a little rushed. So we started to ask for a short wait between courses. We complained to guest relations on our return, sending them a number of photographs. At first they were helpful enough. Now, however it is a different matter. For 4 weeks I have been trying by e mail and telephone to get some clarification about an our issue and I can get a verbal statement from them, but they refuse to confirm in writing as "we do not" reply to E mails. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First of all this was our third cruise this year we had sailed on the Symphony of the seas in May from Barcelona and Ventura in July from Southampton so what you should expect in the way of general service on a cruise ship was still fairly ... Read More
First of all this was our third cruise this year we had sailed on the Symphony of the seas in May from Barcelona and Ventura in July from Southampton so what you should expect in the way of general service on a cruise ship was still fairly fresh in our minds. We are Latitudes Gold so we have sailed with them a few times prior to this cruise. Because of the previous cruises this year and cost we decided to have an inside cabin and ended up in stateroom 4557 on deck 4 and NCL informed us that we,d had a complimenary upgrade but heaven knows where from maybe the crews quarters. The cabin was tiny but functional apart from a lack of wardrobe space which is a struggle for a weeks cruise nevermind two weeks ,anyway we looked at our latitues gold card and we should have had a complimenary bottle of wine in the cabin but we could,nt find that just loads of 1 litre bottles of water to last us both for the nine day trip which we never got through. At this point I noticed that there was no card in the cabin, sorry stateroom with our cabin stewards name on it and no cabin stewards to be seen anywhere in the corridors. That evening after life boat drill we went up a deck for the sailaway and decided to have a cocktail but with no waiters to be seen anywhere went to the Garden Cafe outdoors bar and asked for two Pina Colada,s and just got a totally blank expression from the bar server Pina Colada he said , he obviously did,nt know what a Pina Colada was until he we told by another bar waiter. Then we decided to go down to the Grand Pacific restaurant for our evening meal, being quite early there was no queue but we were still asked if we would like to share so we shared the table with two lovely American couples ,it took an hour for our starter to arrive and even then two orders came wrong the total dining experience in Grand Pacific took two and a half hours, the waiter said were we going to the show I said no but we have a trip booked for Monday. Unfortunely we had several experiences like that , O Sheehans being really bad one lunch time and we nearly walked out in disgust because of a total lack of service. We did,nt get to see our cabin steward till the evening on day three and that was just by chance and by this stage we were not getting our Freestyle daily in our cabin and the room was,nt getting made up till late afternoon so l compained at reception. At this point we did get better service in the restaurants but the cabin steward was still a but painfully slow and we had to continually ask for things to be done so the Jade was definitely way down on service compaired to the Symphony and Ventura . Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Our second cruise on this lovely ship, a vessel that’s low on bling and high on understated style. Balcony room E322, serviced impeccably by steward Valens, was clean and in very good condition. Love having a proper-sized shower with ... Read More
Our second cruise on this lovely ship, a vessel that’s low on bling and high on understated style. Balcony room E322, serviced impeccably by steward Valens, was clean and in very good condition. Love having a proper-sized shower with glass door instead of a curtain. Big TV with tremendous movie selection, plenty of tea & coffee, fridge if you need it. Superbly comfortable bed. Balcony a little on the small side but fine for 2. All public areas on the ship are spotless and very tastefully decorated - if you want glass lifts and chrome fittings this is not the ship for you. Dinner in the main restaurant (freedom dining) was consistently excellent, other eating experiences as follows: Horizon Buffet: a serious bun fight at times (some punters went at it like they’d never seen food before) but quality good and always plentiful. Poolside: lovely cheeseburger and fries. Sindhu: the star of the ship in my opinion, incredible quality and taste, an absolute bargain at £20 per head. Glass House: great for lunch, the small plates are imaginative, well-cooked and great value at £6.95 for 3. Limelight Club: another lovely meal, entertainment by Claire Sweeney was good fun. Well worth 25 quid for something different. Drinks on P&O are very reasonably priced and all the wines we tried were decent - you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good bottle. We found the service in all areas, at all times, to be very friendly and efficient. The staff work tirelessly and show great patience when occasionally faced with a minority of passengers who appear to have been born without manners. Didn’t get too involved in the entertainment, but J’Adele was fantastic - almost a carbon copy. Ports of call Stavanger: lovely town, good for a wander with lots to see. Flam: Small, but a beautiful location. Olden: a bit bigger, with a nice little church, but not much else. Bergen: great for a wander again, picturesque harbour. Overall I would urge anyone to give Britannia a try, she’s a great ship and a wonderful all-round experience. There are negative reviews out there, but some people are just impossible to please and would whinge if you offered them £10 notes for a fiver. Go with a relaxed attitude and an open mind and I reckon you’ll love it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018

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